5 November 2012

Tanzania: Stray Jumbos Raise Concern in Serengeti

SERENGETI District residents have deep expressed concern over regular invasion of their homes and farms by destructive elephants, a senior local leader told 'Daily News' over the weekend.

The Serengeti District Council Acting Chairman, Mr Jumanne Kwiro, said the destructive jumbos undermine the people's morale in supporting the government's conservation efforts in the area.

Serengeti District comprises a large game protected area including the world famous Serengeti National Park (SENAPA). "Serengeti people are now not happy with conservation initiatives, saying it appears the government is giving the welfare of animals priority and not the people," he said.

"For example, elephants recently invaded and destroyed houses and crops belonging to some peasants including an aged widow at Natta ward. There is no any help to the people so far," he said.

"The elephants also killed several cows including my own cows but we don't see any help," Mr Kwiro said. He further said that several people were killed by elephants in various villages in Serengeti and Tarime districts.

Local leaders and peasants have always been accusing the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) for allegedly ignoring complaints against destructive jumbos.Destructive jumbos are reported to be the source of food insecurity and underdevelopment in villages near the country's national parks.

Mr Kwiro appealed for immediate government intervention to the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ambassador Khamis Kaghasheki."We are asking the minister to look into this problem because we are the ones conserving Serengeti animals," he pointed out.

A few weeks ago two elephants were found dead in Western Serengeti and cause of the animals' deaths has remained to be a mystery.There are fears that the elephants were poisoned by some angry residents.

The country's second largest park has over 200 armed rangers tasked with fighting poaching and other illegal activities in the park which is blessed with a variety of beautiful flora and fauna.

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